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Guidelines for a Supplier Qualification Program to Improve Project Performance: An Exploratory Study

Problem Statement

Traditional supplier qualification strategies focused on financial, insurance, and safety resulting in a supply chain that cannot adequately respond to disruptions and uncertainty. Previous CII research identified supplier selection’s importance in project delivery and suggested specific strategies such as partnering or alliancing (RT-341) and engaging suppliers early in the project delivery workflow (RT-130) to improve project performance (CII 1998; CII 2019). Additionally, research has suggested that vertical and/or horizontal supply chain integration makes systemic innovations more likely to be adopted throughout the supply chain (Hall et al. 2018).

While these strategies highlighted the importance of collaboration between stakeholders, such as owners, EPCs, and suppliers, they have yet to be transformed into specific supplier evaluation criteria. Focusing solely on “traditional” qualification criteria has caused lost opportunities for the industry because owners and EPCs do not always engage suppliers to leverage their domain expertise at a project’s outset. Therefore, it is imperative to rethink supplier qualification programs to engage suppliers early in a project’s life cycle to fully leverage their expertise to improve project performance.


The essential question of this work is: How can organizations set up effective supplier qualification programs that will improve project performance by reducing supply chain risks while also promoting innovation and collaboration? This exploratory work will focus on two specific research objectives:
1. Characterize the state of the practice of supplier qualification in the capital projects industry to identify practices and strategies that lead to more efficient supplier engagement.
2. Define the capital projects industry’s desired future state for supplier qualification and engagement.



Alison Bradley, Ontario Power Generation


Michael Acosta, Deloitte

Joao Bombacini, Alvarez & Marsal

Jacob Chapin, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Mike Dalforno, Oracle USA, Inc.

Sandeep Dash, Larsen & Toubro Limited

Rod LaPointe, PTAG, Inc.

Damion Loew, Kahua, Inc.

Brian Loos, AdvanSix

Jeff Lyons, Matrix Service Company

JIm McClain, Dematic

Kevin McLaughlin, Consolidated Edison Company of New York

David Mei, Fluor Corporation

David Metcalf, McDermott International, Inc.

Atul Patel, Covestro LLC

Mike Pausche, Chevron

Ryan Pleasants, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors

Matt Schulte, Burns & McDonnell

Felipe Shinto, Verum Partners

Andrew Sorrie, Wood

Steve Stankiewicz, Kahua, Inc.

Wade Stoddart, NOVA Chemicals Corporation

Luisa Swanston, Shell


Amelia Celoza, University of Colorado

Launched 2023